Spring Break is right around the corner, and if you have kids – or you’re a kid at heart – you might be making plans to visit a theme park. But a day riding roller coasters and eating funnel cakes can be very expensive. Here are some tips to save on your next theme park trip.
- Go Two Days or More
Most theme park price-per-day rates drop significantly when you buy two days or more. For example, according to an article earlier this year in The New York Times, it costs $89.99 to go to Busch Gardens once, but only $10 more to buy an annual pass that lets you visit unlimited times.
- Buy tickets online
Most parks offer a discount if you purchase tickets ahead of time on their website instead of showing up to buy tickets at the gate. At Six Flags Magic Mountain, a daily ticket costs $84.99 at the gate. But if you buy it online and pick your date, rates start at just $59.99.
- Be flexible about your dates
Sure, everybody wants to visit Disneyland on Christmas Day, but most parks hike up the price of tickets on their most popular days to avoid overcrowding. If you are willing to visit early in the season when school is still in session – especially on a weekday – you can save quite a bit. At Sesame Place theme park in Pennsylvania, between April 28 and May 25, daily tickets are only $45, much less than the regular $75 price.
- Ask your credit union
Most sites that claim to offer discount codes usually don’t work, but if you’re a credit union member, you might qualify for a good deal. And, if you use a credit card that offers cash back on all purchases or rewards, you can save even more.
- Use social media
Follow your favorite theme park on social media and you may be lucky enough to snag tickets during flash sales. At the very least, you’ll be notified of special promotions and discounts.
- Spring for Fast Passes
Any deal that keeps you from waiting in line means you’ll spend more time enjoying the rides and less time standing in line. As much as theme park tickets cost these days, that’s important. Usually, the cost to upgrade is well worth the extra fun you get in return.